Press release of Trekt Uw Plant
7 april 2011
Antwerpen, 7 april 2011. The association Trekt Uw Plant is shocked by the statements of Vice-minister of Justice Carl Devlies (Christian-Democrat CD&V) in the Belgian Chamber of Deputees on Tuesday 5 april. In an answer on questions of MP Bert Schoofs (Vlaams Belang) Devlies declared that the association must be prosecuted because of the fact that it grows cannabis plants for the personal use of its (adult) members, based on the principle 1 plant per member. The association makes use of a ministerial guideline of January 2005 that decriminalises the possession by an adult of max. 3 grammes of cannabis or 1 cannabis plant.
Trekt Uw Plant is a Cannabis Social Club, founded in 2006, with the aim of showing in all openness and in a simple but convincing way that it is very well possible to regulate the cultivation of cannabis for adults in Belgium. Growing cannabis for personal use is a sensible and healthy alternative to the illegal market and the tourism from Belgians to Dutch coffeeshops. Trekt Uw Plant uses only ecological cultivation methods, without any risk of contamination or adulteration of the product, like it can be the case on the black market. Contrary to the illegal market, a Cannabis Social Club is not accessible to minors. And because members of Trekt Uw Plant do not need to drive to the Netherlands anymore, to buy cannabis in coffeeshops there, a contribution is made to the reduction of public nuisance and pollution.
In the past 5 years the Antwerp legal authorities prosecuted the association twice, during which the statutes, the objectives and the operation of the association was meticulously examined. Both times the association was acquitted in appeal of the accusations ‘possession of cannabis’ and ‘incitement to drug use’. In none of the cases, the goal of the association, to grow cannabis for the personal use of its members, was condemned.
It is hard to understand the reasons why Carl Devlies considers it necessary to send out the legal services to stop Trekt Uw Plant a third time. One would think that Belgian politicians have other priorities then chasing citizens who contribute to a practical solution for a significant problem in society.
Devlies recognises that it is allowed in Belgium to grow for own use. He just adds that it is not allowed to do this collectively. Devlies would do a better job if he would take into account the reality of many people who can not grow for themselves, just because they lack the space or the skills to do this, or because they want to keep their cannabis consumption a private matter. They also don’t want to come in contact with the illegal market, where cannabis is often of a very low quality. If Devlies gets what he wants, more than 70 members of Trekt Uw Plant will again be forced to provide themselves on the illegal market, with all consequences this implies. The question can be raised who really benefits from the statements of the vice-minister?
For the time being, Trekt Uw Plant will continue its activities, in all openness. The organisation has nothing to hide. We are convinced that, even if it were to be decided to prosecute us, common sense will prevail in an eventual courtcase. Trekt uw Plant will be acquitted for the third time.
An interesting cat and mouse game has begun.
Martin Veltjen – Tel. +32 493 – 195477
Joep Oomen – Tel +32 495 – 122644
Kris Verdonck – Tel. +32 486 – 357595Republish